Stein, Gender, Isolation, and Industrialism: New Readings of Winesburg, Ohio Kindle Edition
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by Duane Simolke
Reviewed by Joe Wright
This book is the work of Dr Simolke. It served as his doctoral dissertation. It shows the relationship between Sherwood Anderson, his work and Gertrude Stein. In Dr Simolke's own words, "I consider Gertrude Stein, gender roles, the machine in the garden, feelings of isolation, and attempts at communication, as they all relate to Sherwood Anderson's masterpiece."
Of course the masterpiece he is talking about is the story cycle, Winesburg, Ohio. Published in 1919 about a small town in Ohio becoming industrialized and what that does to the lives of the people of Winesburg.
New Readings would be a great companion to go along with Anderson's Winesburg. It gives you not only the history of Mr. Anderson, but also the history of his stories. In Chapter 4 Men and Women, Dr. Simolke talks about how Mr Anderson's 1923 novel Many Marriages was banned by many libraries and book stores due to the fact that the book mainly focuses on nudity and sex.
If your a tried and true fan of Gertrude Stein or Sherwood Anderson New Readings is a must have!
In seven chapters Dr. Simolke (whose lyrical collection THE ACORN STORIES was clearly influenced by Stein and Anderson) examines themes of alienation, sexuality and gender in Anderson's masterpiece WINESBURG, OHIO.
Bringing fresh perspective to Anderson's best known work (considered by critics to be a forerunner of modern fiction with its focus on "real folks" and small town America of the early 20th Century), Simolke candidly explores sexual subtext.
In "More Than Man or Woman" he writes, "I call attention to all this terminology because Anderson transcends those societal perceptions of gayness; his use of gay themes has little to do with sex and everything to do with human contact."
Do we need still one more analysis of the work of another dead white guy? Yes, most certainly, when it is as refreshingly and unabashedly enthusiastic as Simolke's. Criticized as being sentimental and outdated, WINESBURG becomes relevant again in this unapologetic and insightful re-reading.